Boeing Australia unveils new support UAV concept “Loyal Wingman”
Boeing Australia has introduced a concept of its new drone jet, capable of smart teaming with existing military aircraft. The aircraft will be able to fly independently, as well as with other aircraft to provide support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare.
A model of the drone was unveiled at the Australian International Airshow, on February 27, 2019. Called Boeing Airpower Teaming System, it is being developed to complement and extend airborne missions through smart teaming with existing military aircraft.
Image: Boeing Australia
A 38 feet long (11.7m) drone with a range of over 2,000 nautical miles will be capable to provide fighter-like performance, support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and electronic warfare.
Due to artificial intelligence, it should also be able to fly both independently or in support of manned aircraft while maintaining safe distance between other aircraft.
“With its ability to reconfigure quickly and perform different types of missions in tandem with other aircraft, our newest addition to Boeing’s portfolio will truly be a force multiplier as it protects and projects air power,” according to Kristin Robertson, vice president and general manager of Boeing Autonomous Systems.
Now, the developers, the Australian Government and Boeing, are planning to will produce a concept demonstrator called the Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program, which is to provide “key learnings toward the production” of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System.
First flight is planned for 2020.
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